Save our trees, plead hospital protestors

A PROTEST against plans to cut down trees outside a local hospital has been hailed a success.

Friday, 22nd July 2016, 5:55 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 4:53 pm
Kimberly Barrett, Shelagh Simmons and Kevin Doyle from Keep Milton Green

More than 100 people showed up at the grounds of St James’s Hospital in Milton, to protest against a planning application for at least 50 trees – including several silver birches – to be felled.

The event was run by the protest group Keep Milton Green which has campaigned against any development taking place in the grounds of St James’s Hospital, off Locksway Road.

The planning application by Solent NHS Trust will, if granted by Portsmouth City Council, create a new service yard and store, as well as widening access for emergency vehicles from Locksway Road to the hospital itself.

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However, for this to go ahead, a long line of trees would have to be chopped down.

Many residents in Milton are unhappy about the proposal, claiming that the application ignores the value of the trees.

On Sunday the protesters, led by the Doyle family and Kimberly Barrett, gathered outside The Harbour School and made their way to the site where the trees are due to be chopped down, as well as where past applications to fell had taken effect.

Kimberly said: ‘We led them to destruction sites to show them what is happening and what could happen if the planning application goes forward.

‘Many people in Milton were also complaining about this application; they didn’t see why it was necessary for it to go ahead as there is already access to the site in place for emergency vehicles.

‘The locals have suggested making a single-track one way system for the vehicles or putting passing points in place along the road to prevent this felling of Milton’s loved trees.’

The line of mature trees are protected by Tree Preservation Orders.

Protesters say that the removal of another green space in Portsmouth may cause the landscape to suffer a decrease in value, as well as causing a rise in pollution.

One comment on Portsmouth’s council webpage by Jenifer Keane said it was ‘an unnecessary felling of trees in an already densely urbanised environment’.